Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Chapter 2 of "Shattering the Perfect Teacher Myth:" Hook Your Students

When I started Chapter 2 of, "Shattering the Perfect Teacher Myth," I thought it was going to be all about engaging lessons. After all the title is:  Hook Your Students. I was partly right. It was the end of the chapter that really spoke to me. The author, Aaron Hogan, included a piece about the invisible student which challenged teachers to find the learners who are in our classrooms who are unnoticed,  compliant and are disconnected. The reasons they are disconnected could be anything; shy, missed the information about how to join a club, communication problems, oldest or only child and doesn't have anyone at home to "mentor" them. These individuals need to get "hooked" in school to avoid becoming that invisible learner.

As a Special Ed case manager, we have meetings every February with our incoming freshman who have IEPs. When I run my meetings I try to learn as much as I can about the person, not just how they like to learn and create but also what are their passions. This information is not important just for transition and career planning but also making sure they find a place in the school. When I know more about a student, I can make recommendations for clubs and activities. In addition to all the expected clubs and activities my high school also has P.A.W.S. (an acronym for something to do with dogs but I can't recall what) and a sci-fi club. These are outlets that a student could plug into and make a connection with school (which we all know is important). Clubs and activities are one way to "hook" the students.

At the conclusion of one of Aaron's sessions last week, he challenged us to learn three things about all our students within the first month of school.

Sounds like an important challenge and one I'm going to try.

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